Shipping from the US to Canada is expensive because of a combination of customs duty fees (since it’s an international delivery) and long distances (since Canada is a huge country). It’s also a function of the typical variables like the type of carrier and the timeline. If you want to ship from the US to Canada for cheap, the best way is by choosing regular ground shipping through USPS. Depending on the total distance, costs can be as low as $30 to $50 or even less, but it could take anywhere from 3 to 10 business days.
On the other hand, if you need faster deliveries without breaking the bank, UPS is your cheapest option, with a maximum cost of $44.28 for a 5kg package shipping from Florida to Toronto by ground in 3 business days. If you’re in a real hurry, though, and you need something shipped overnight, you’ll be paying at least $200.
International shipping services come in many different varieties: some cheap, others expensive, and others offer both affordable and pricey options. We researched dozens of carriers that provide international shipping services from the US to Canada and identified a few that offer the best features at the lowest price.
In this post, we'll explain what makes shipping to Canada so expensive. We'll also show you how you can save money when sending packages to Canada from the US, compare shipping rates offered by different shipping providers, and give the best, cheapest, and most affordable options for making shipments from the US to Canada. But, of course, finding a carrier with the cheapest rate isn't our only focus. We'll also help you find the most reliable, secure, and safe carriers so you can ship your packages worry-free.
So, if you're looking for a carrier that's both affordable and reliable, you've come to the right place.
Why Is It So Expensive To Ship To Canada?
With its large economy and vast international market, Canada is an ideal target market for most US-based businesses.
E-commerce is steadily booming, and more than 50% of Canadians prefer to shop for items online from various retailers within Canada, the US, and many other countries. This means they need to have these items shipped to their Canadian addresses.
Related: If you're buying online in the US and shipping your purchases to Canada, read this Fetch Rewards review and learn how to scan your e-receipt to receive free cashback for your everyday purchases.
Canada and the United States are neighbours, so you might wonder why shipping your packages from the US to Canada might cost even more than the package itself, even for places just after the border. However, several factors influence the costs of sending packages from the US to Canada.
#1 Customs Duties And Taxes
If the parcel you're shipping is worth more than $20, you'll have to pay a tax fee of 5%. The amount you'll pay for duties varies depending on your package's category, such as health and beauty or home decor. You'll also be charged $10 for the handling fee.
Goods shipped into Canada are also subject to taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), Provincial Sales Tax (PST) for provinces where there are no HST, and Quebec Sales Tax (QST), in Quebec.
#2 Type Of Carrier Or Shipping Service
The carrier or shipping service you choose for your shipments will primarily affect the amount you'll pay for shipping. Also, the shipping options provided by your carrier may be either affordable or pricey, and the shipping costs will depend on the shipping options you choose.
Some carriers will take care of customs duties and taxes at the border for you. So, you'll be charged an extra premium for this service.
#3 Delivery Distance
Canada is a vast country, the second largest in the world. So, your package destination in Canada will determine the amount you'll pay for shipping. You'll pay more for shipping if the distance between the pickup point and the delivery destination in Canada is significant.
#4 Delivery Timeline
If you're shipping a time-sensitive package, you'll pay more for shipping because you'll have to choose any of the expedited or quick-delivery options. However, if you do not need an urgent delivery, you'll pay less for shipping if you choose the standard or ground shipping options.
#5 Weight And Size Of The Package
The size and weight of your package are other major factors influencing the shipping costs you'll have to pay. Generally, the larger and heavier your parcel, the more expensive the shipment.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Ship From The US To Canada?
Ground shipping is the cheapest way to ship from the US to Canada. Various international shipping companies offer ground shipping options that can cost as low as $30 to $50 or even less, depending on your distance. However, ground shipping can take about 3 to 7 days, depending on your package destination and the carrier.
Ground shipping is a great option if your package doesn't have to be delivered in 24 hours. Using the ground shipping options your shipping company provides for small packages and freight always costs less than the quick delivery options.
USPS also offers affordable shipping from the US to Canada. However, the delivery time is the longest and can take about 3 to 10 business days or even months, depending on the case.
How Long Does It Take To Ship A Package From The US To Canada?
The delivery time for parcels to get to Canada from the US depends on your carrier or shipping service. On average, shipping from the US to Canada can take anywhere from 1 to 20 days.
Most international shipping providers provide one-day delivery options for time-sensitive packages. However, these delivery options are usually the costliest.
You can go for the cheaper options your carrier offers, like flat-rate shipping and ground shipping services, which can take about 3 to 10 days.
What Documents Do I Need To Ship From The US To Canada?
When shipping from the US to Canada, you must ensure that the parcel you're shipping is not on the list of goods that are restricted from entering Canada. Some restricted items include ammunition, ready-to-eat meals, and collectible coins.
You can check the complete list of prohibited and restricted items in Canada to ensure that your package complies with Canadian laws.
When making shipments into Canada, you'll have to provide regulatory papers and customs documentation before your package can cross the Canadian border.
Some carriers like UPS and FedEx provide blank customs forms on their websites to make it easy for you to fill out and submit them online.
The customs forms and documentation you'll need will vary depending on the package you're shipping and your carrier. However, the regulatory documents you'll need include the following:
- Commercial Invoice (CI)
- Bill of Lading (BOL)
- Proof of Delivery (POD) if it's not on the Bill of Lading (BOL)
- Canada Customs Invoice (CCI) for shipments that are worth more than $2,500
- Electronic Export Information (EEI) form for controlled goods. This form replaces the Shipper's Export Declaration (SED), which is no longer in use.
- Cargo Control Document (CCD) if you're making more than one shipment at a time.
- Import permit or license for controlled items or goods regulated by the Canadian Other Government Department (OGD)
- NAFTA Certificates of Origin, if your package is compatible with NAFTA.
What Carriers Can I Use When Shipping From The US To Canada?
You can use many carriers to send your packages from the US to Canada. However, here are the top carriers that can help you ship your parcels to Canada from the US:
USPS is the primary postal service in the United States and offers international shipping services for shipments from the US to other countries. It's the equivalent of Canada Post in Canada, which is the cheapest way to ship domestically in Canada.
USPS offers the following delivery services for shipping from the US to Canada:
|USPS Shipping Service||Features|
|USPS Priority Mail International||Guaranteed delivery in 6 to 10 business days.|
Flat rate pricing.
USPS tracking service.
|USPS Priority Mail Express International||Guaranteed delivery in 3 to 5 business days.|
Flat rate pricing.
USPS tracking service.
When USPS takes your package to the Canadian border, it hands it over to Canada Post, the USPS equivalent in Canada. Canada Post then delivers the package to you.
UPS is a leading international shipping provider and offers shipping services to meet the needs of individuals and businesses in the US, Canada, and worldwide. It has a vast and extensive logistics network throughout Canada.
UPS offers the following shipping services for packages sent from the US to Canada:
|UPS Shipping Service||Features|
|UPS Worldwide Express Plus||Guaranteed delivery in 1 business day.|
|UPS Worldwide Express||Guaranteed delivery in 1 to 3 business days.|
|UPS Worldwide Saver||Guaranteed delivery in 1 to 3 business days.|
|UPS Worldwide Expedited||Guaranteed delivery in 2 to 5 business days.|
|UPS Standard||Guaranteed delivery in 1 to 5 business days.|
FedEx is another major international carrier that provides shipping and e-commerce services to individuals and businesses worldwide. Like UPS, it has an extensive logistics network in Canada and can effectively deliver your packages anywhere in the country.
FedEx offers the following shipping services for shipments made to Canada from the US:
|FedEx Shipping Service||Features|
|FedEx International Priority||Time definite delivery in 1 to 3 business days.|
|FedEx International Priority Express||Time definite delivery in 1 to 3 business days.|
|FedEx International Economy||Time definite delivery in 2 to 3 business days.|
|FedEx International Ground||Time definite delivery in 2 to 7 business days.|
DHL offers international shipping services to help ship your packages efficiently to any country. It specializes in fast delivery services.
DHL international shipping services provide 1-day delivery for packages shipped from the US to Canada. It also offers the following delivery services:
|DHL Shipping Service||Features|
|DHL Parcel International Direct – Canada||Delivery in 3 to 9 business days.|
|DHL Parcel International Standard||Delivery in 4 to 8 business days.|
|DHL Packet International||Delivery in 4 to 8 business days.|
How Much Does It Cost To Ship From The US To Canada?
Shipping costs for sending a package from the US to Canada varies based on your package's weight, size, and delivery destination.
However, we curated and compared the shipping costs from the leading international shipping companies, USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL, for shipping a 5kg (11 lbs) package from Florida to Toronto.
The shipping rates from the four carriers are shown in the table below. However, these rates do not include customs fees and pickup charges.
|Shipping Service||Shipping Cost (in CAD)||Delivery Time|
|USPS Priority Mail Express International||$113.40||Delivery in 3 to 5 business days|
|USPS Priority Mail International||$75.90||Delivery in 6 to 10 business days|
|USPS Priority Mail International Large Flat Rate Box||$73.80||Delivery in 6 to 10 business days|
|USPS Priority Mail International Medium Flat Rate Box||$56.80||Delivery in 6 to 10 business days|
|UPS Worldwide Express Plus||$248.95||Delivery in 1 business day by 9:00 a.m.|
|UPS Worldwide Express||$200.05||Delivery in 1 business day by 12 p.m.|
|UPS Worldwide Saver||$196.40||Delivery in 1 business day|
|UPS Worldwide Expedited||$181.29||Delivery in 2 business days|
|UPS Standard||$44.28||Delivery in 3 business days|
|FedEx International Priority Express||$232.63||Guaranteed next-day delivery|
|FedEx International Priority||$226.61||Guaranteed next-day delivery|
|FedEx International Priority Express||$213.07||Delivery in 1 business day|
|FedEx International Priority||$207.05||Delivery in 1 business day|
|FedEx International Economy||$201.22||Delivery in 2 business days|
|FedEx International Ground||$48.34||Delivery in 3 business days|
|DHL International||$144.67||Delivery in 1 business day|
From our comparisons, the ground shipping options from UPS and FedEx are the cheapest. Also, USPS offers more affordable shipping rates compared to the other carriers.
The delivery times for the USPS options are the longest. However, you can choose it if you have some time on your hands.
The ground shipping options from UPS and FedEx offer delivery in 3 business days which is faster and cheaper than the USPS options.
However, DHL offers the cheapest rate for next-business-day delivery of your packages compared to the other carriers.
Shipping services like UPS, FedEx, and DHL charge premiums for their services, hence, are more expensive. Still, they provide customs coverage for your packages and take care of all regulatory paperwork at the border, making them more reliable options.
However, you must ensure that the carrier you choose is affordable, reliable, and able to meet your shipping needs.
How To Save Money When Shipping To Canada
The holidays are just around the corner, and finding ways to save a couple of dollars on importing your favorite items to Canada seems like a great idea.
Here are a few ingenious tips to help you save a couple of bucks while shipping from the US to Canada:
- Always use the shipping rate calculator on the website of the carrier you chose to get a quote or an estimate of how much you'll have to pay for shipping.
- Compare prices from different carriers to find the carrier with the most affordable price.
- Whenever possible, make use of flat-rate shipping to be able to estimate shipping prices accurately.
- If your package doesn't need to be delivered urgently, choose the ground shipping options as they are more affordable and cheaper.
- If you're shipping more than one item, you can pack different items together to make one package so that you'll pay less.
- Ensure that your packaging isn't bulky because the larger your packaging, the higher the shipping costs.
Canada offers an international market for businesses in the United States. Also, most Canadians shop online from businesses in the US and other countries. However, getting these items shipped to Canadians can be expensive, so finding a cost-effective way to send parcels to Canada is essential.
Ground shipping is the cheapest and most affordable way of shipping from the US to Canada. USPS also provides affordable shipping options, but the USPS and ground shipping options to Canada have longer delivery times and cannot be used for quick delivery.
However, DHL offers the cheapest quick-delivery or next-day delivery option.
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Ship From The US To Canada Cheap FAQs
Here are three of the most frequently asked questions on cheap shipping from the US to Canada:
Is shipping from the US to Canada free?
No, shipping from the US to Canada is not free, as there are surcharges, you'll have to pay. However, some shipping providers offer cheap and affordable shipping rates that also cover the customs duties you'll have to pay.
How can I get cheaper shipping to Canada?
You can get cheaper shipping to Canada by choosing the ground shipping options by your carrier, using flat-rate shipping, and ensuring that your item packaging is not bulky, as you'll pay more for a larger package.
What is the cheapest way to ship something from the US to Canada?
The cheapest way to ship something from the US to Canada is via ground shipping offered by your shipping provider. You can also use USPS, as it also provides cheap options. However, both ground shipping and the USPS options have longer delivery times.